Pentagon Deploys Troops to Somalia

Despite inflicting military setbacks and territory loss upon al-Shabab, the militants continue to create chaos in the country, as fears grow that al-Shabab and Islamic State are too much for the country to handle.

The new deployment, which US African Command (AFRICOM) is presented as a simple training operation, will be the first time US ground troops are officially deployed to Somalia, though of course the US has had some special forces present on the ground on and off, conducting occasional operations and spotting for US airstrikes.

While a nominal USA military presence in the country has persisted, last June the United States named its first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years, a signal the central government was viewed as legitimate and has the backing of the West.

Stars and Stripes reported the 101st deployment was at the request of the Somali military.

Though these will be the first troops officially deployed to Somalia in the fight against al Shabaab, they are not the first USA forces in Somalia.

"It gives them the tools to help themselves", DeLeon said. "The objective of this particular train and equip mission is to improve the logistical capacity of the Somali National Army and the focus will be on teaching basic logistics operations, which will allow Somalia forces to better fight al Shabaab", the spokesman for US Africa Command wrote.

CNN reported on March 30, citing the Pentagon, that President Trump had approved an increase in the frequency of counterterrorism strikes in Somalia.

A BBC report on this story noted that in 1993, 18 USA special forces personnel were killed in the incident dramatized in the American film Black Hawk Down.

Of late, however, a central government has formed in Mogadishu and has sought to confront the militant members of al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaida, that had gained control of much of the country and was advancing on the capital. USA military personnel were withdrawn from Somalia shortly afterwards.

It's a busy month for USA military forces, with dynamic situations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Korea.

Following the Battle of Mog - known to most US civilians as "the Black Hawk Down incident" - American involvement in Somalia declined sharply. He also declined to comment on whether or not they are responsible for operating drones, saying only that they "are not tasked with directly engaging enemy forces".

Since then, the USA has restricted most of its activities in Somalia to drone and missile attacks against Islamist militants.

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